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tv   Listening Post  Al Jazeera  November 15, 2015 12:30pm-1:01pm EST

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discipline to become one of china's acrobats of tomorrow. rob mcbride in eastern china. >> very skilled kids. more on that and everything else that we have been covering on our website. the address, aljazeera.com. hello i'm richard gizbert. you're at the listening post. one new story, various interests, multiple narratives, examining the coverage of the russian air disaster over egypt. pakistan is leaning on the media telling them not to cover certain groups. we look at the growth injury
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that is row pa bottle journalism. advertising agencies saying no. >> first you pay then you eat when that russian airliner came apart 33,000 feet killing all 224 on board what followed was a war of interpretation fought through the global news media. with no access to the site the investigation has been challenging for reporters to cover. various governments have big geopolitical stakes in this story over what happened and what did not. for egypt's president sisi this disaster needed to be something about something else other than a bomb on board and a security breach at sharm el-sheikh airport so as to protect juryism. for russia's president, putin, it needed to be something other than the work of i.s.i.l. and the russian bombing in syria. and for the u.k. and u.s., this was an opportunity to underline the risks of russian involvement in the syrian war, burr
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ultimatelily this is a story about governments finding what they want to find. feeding the media machine with what they want said and to varying degrees the media's willingness to act as you can co chambers for those governments. the problem comes when the fact gets in the way. eight square miles of egyptian desert, the crash site in sinai. one plane, 224 fatalities. four capitals. a multiplicity of reasons offered. positions taken. >> that russian plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device. >> reporter: and narratives forged.
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>> that's part of the nature of the event itself. if you compare this to the 1996 one, find that it took them 16 months for the f.b.i. to do the investigation and reach no conclusive evidence. so i think the fact that we have two weeks cycle tells us a thing or two about why each country are so focused on making this story out of this event >> investigators are grabbing evidence. >> there is always the event that starts and ends and also the narrative that circulate p and is perpetuated especially in the 24 minute never mind hour need rah cycle that exists these days. they needed to get out a story that would get into papers and sell them and air time on tv. what was clear was it wasn't based on an irrefutable conclusion by an investigated female on the ground. new cycles don't necessarily fit within empirical reality.
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so it's not necessarily their fault. it's the fault of the enough cycle and the news organisations that want immediate answers when there really can't be any those who perished were russian but no country has more riding on this story than egypt. its airport was involved. the sisi came into power on an anti terror platform that a disaster like this can easily undermine. initially egyptian news outlets object owed what was coming out of moscow, but there was no proof of the bomb. cause could have been mechanical and that flying to and from egypt was still safe. the jeep egyptian media were towing their government's line and one newspaper took the boots to british papers reporting what downing street was telling them, that the crash was most likely an act of the of terror. >> the egyptian sensitivity so far as the western media and the
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coverage of this incident was concerned is a combination of multiple factors. it ranges from the nation pride, their contingency of their common at sharm el-sheikh. one national near twitch and one u.s. narrative contradicting each other and yet the consequence of this is for the egyptian economy. >> i think we need to almost analyse that a little bit. there is a sense that egypt is being under siege, egypt is being punished for the russian proximity, the u.s. and west are not happy with what russia is doing in syria. this narrative has been instilled in egyptians not for the last two years, but 50 years. people want to undermine egypt and its greatness. this narrative is going to be
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challenged more and more by reality, and there's the repressive element. if you are a journalist and you don't want to go to jail and get tortured and disappear for lord knows how long, then you put the statement out that the governmenta wants you to in this past week two egyptian journalists were reminders of that. this one here was arrested and questioned before being released. this lady of the state owned channel was also taken off the air. both had been critical of the cc government on stories unrelated to the plane crash - sisi. however the narrative coming out of cairo that it wasn't a bomb took a major hit from an unexpected source, moscow when the russian government came to the same conclusion that london and washington did, that it was probably terrorism.
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that left the sisi government isolated and the egyptian media were left holding the bag still selling a narrative that no-one, not even russia, was buying that was the turning point. at that moment most of the media supported the version of a terrorist attack and surprisingly, the liberal media supported the action of the government. echo on the radio station. for the first time in many years, they said that the decision to evacuate people and the decision to stop the flights to egypt was actually a responsible one. >> there have been a few examples of a russian media trying to push seniors conspiracy theory that somehow link the west to the accident. for example, channel 1 tried to somehow link the west and the west to the tragedy, suggesting
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that there might have been a deal between the west and the terrorist. however, i have to admit that these versions are not taken seriously by the majority of russians for all of the confusion around the crash itself, if it was a bomb, who planted it, what motivated them and could it happen again. this story has exposed the way media in certain countries operate. governments everywhere like to control the near ittive. doctor narrative. in some places governments get to write the script and their media which is supposed to hold power to account, simply read the wordsa loud. >> what can i advise to our readers? from the beginning of the civil war in syria, the russian government there, the syrian ghost, the egyptian government, british government, american
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judgment, they all pushed their version of the war. it became a part or the syrian civil war. it became part of the information war around syria which has been waged in the world's media for about four drawers now ultimately the question actually goes back to independent investigative journalism. is it possible within this particular architecture of dominant, powerful, political positioning of major super powers for independent adjourn awful to be possible - journalism to be possible? this is the problem that public faces, that the tragedies such as the crash of this airliner typified, exemplifys.
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other media stories that are on our raid yahr this week in malaysia, the largest independent news outlet has been rated twice in two days. the officials went into the office of the the malaysia website as well as those of the tabloid. they were back at the building on 9 november demanding to know the report on a public froms investigating wrongdoing. the news outline has been threatened with defamation
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charges over the story. the malaysian approval ratings are at an all time low around 20%. the prern has landed on the media, opposition leaders and bloggers. a political cartoonist faces nine counts which results in 43 years in prison. the charges do not relate to his cartoon, but tweeting his opposition of the opposition leaders. pemra has begun implementing a decision that bans all television and radio coverage of million taint groups. 72 organisations were listed covered by the ban. including jam al and others fif. both organisations are linked to the group suspected of carrying out the 2008 hotel siege in mumbai india which claimed more
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than 160 lives. pakistani media outlets will be monitored. broadcasters were shown not to show images. the media has to stopped running charities associated with the million taint groups. the regulator says on noncompliance could result in fines or determination of a licence. a canada news magazine took some heat when it published its cover story. the magazine is mcleans and portrays carter. he was captured in afghanistan in 2002. he was just 15 at the time charged with war crimes. he was tortured at guantanamo bay and eventually pleaded guilty in 20 so after which he was sentenced. he was freed earlier this year. he shares the cover with two
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well-known canadians, a sexual assault and a journal afloat who was abducted in somalia in 2008 and held there for more than a year. the story was written and it is said the common theme among the three is that they all suffered immensely. some readers took to twitter to say that they will be cancelling their prescriptions and right wing news outlets both went to town on the mcleans cover. this is one of those stories that since it's about automated journalism, robot journalism, really should write itself, but the technology, at least for television, is not quite there why yet, it is, however, already working its way into some types of reporting. whether you receive it or not, some of the journalism on line may have been produced by computers. financial reporting, sports updates or earthquake alerts are
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the kinds of stories being produced without human involvement. one piece of software, word smith created by a company called automated insights produces thousands of these reports every quarter. another platform called watch it means that hundreds of videos can be generated and uploaded to web sites and social media instantly. more stories produced more quickly with fewer people to pay. what are the down sides for news report? the listening post on the implications of robot journalism. breaking news about an erodes quake in california. a first look at apples quarterly earnings and a review on college baseball. three stories and you would think three journalists being involved.
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how about none? software aided reporting has been dubbed robot journalism. it conjures up imapplings of robot men. automated content is the work of just a piece of software that instead of helping you with word processing, it helps you produce news report. >> these use artificial intelligence to convert data into news stories. they use algorithms that produce these stories. >> they're stock quotes, sports scores. it's not sophisticated and don't require a lot of thinking. >> you can do a lot more, a lot quicker. it's cheaper to do it. in essence, in some cases you might be making fewer mistakes. if the data is qualitative, it doesn't matter if it's a subcommittee meeting or a meeting of parliament, as long as that is tracked somewhere, we can pull that data and pull a
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story from it. >> if you're a mere human journalist, the information for a new story facts, quotes, a personal angle. the robots need much less. they don't run on coffee. give them numbers, parameters. an earthquake measuring between 2.0 and 4.9 is clarified as light. 6.0 is strong to great. a dictionary of terms. tensional stress, plate techtonics, your computer can spit out story after story. you won't get emotional insights. it will be cut and dried. this is algorithmic journalism. automated insights in north c carolina has spotted it.
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word smith has been used in the news room of the associated press ap to produce corporate earnings reports. it's one of the first large scale implementations of software proceeds journalist. according to the ap, it's a productivity about bonanza. >> each quarter we were spending 20 to 25% of our time writing these earnings report and universally my reporters hated it. really it wasn't the best use of our time. we found a way we could automate it and free up that time. >> the word smith would write around 440 companies per earning season. after word smith they can wrote close to 50 on 0 articles. that number is growing. >> we haven't reduced any job, nobody has lost their job, but we put that time back into our journalists' hands. by doing that they're doing the things they went to school to do and got into journalism to do which is to report and dig and
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develop sources. >> technology can be both good and bad for an industry. in terms of robots and jobs for journalists, what you have to think about is we're in a state of change and a lot of journalists is losing their jobs is because industry is change, not because an algorithm is written to write stories. quantitative dat that you can use that's easy to feed into the machine. we will get certain type of stories with ease to get data. other difficult stories won't be fed into the machine. they won't become stories for those who think about the content, their main selling point isn't the type of stories. it's about the quantity that they can churn out. the multiplier effect they call it. it's worth
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program can produce 200 stories a standard. whether there is that much news or no not say a separate question. watch the online video creating platform, among others, these say you can source footage and edit one or two minutes session in half an hour. in a live room like al jazeera editing each minutes takes on average three times the watching time. an hour and a half. >> with any kind of automation you will get more quantity. whether it's making cars or flowing fields for fruit t automation produces productivity. you look at your twitter feed and there's 400 stories going out at once. >> reporter: with automated reporting, we shift from this idea from journalists telling us
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most important stories of the day to this idea of lots and lots of stories. they may only be available or interesting to a few people at the time. this really shifts what
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there this this this this this this spulled me by the sleeve. we were caught in a wave of people run can. some running to the metro. people ran into neighboring streets. we found the door of a shop open and a bunch of young french people, we ran in to the shop. people managed to get the back door open. we went into the cart yard. there was another panic. people started running from the direction. authorities were aware but to show you the level of fear, it just takes one person to start running. absolute terror. there is no education that anything actually happened on the square, but someone must have heard something which
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prompted this mass panic. as i said, the square emptied of a thousand or more people within a matter of seconds. >> we can see the square now. jackie >> it does look empty with riot police checking the sir couple french the circumference. authorities have said they didn't want people to gather in huge groups. so what were all of those people doing there? >> reporter: i am very glad to tell you that there is a colleague of mine who fell flat on her face. she is fine. i am relieved. she fell and she is smiling. yes. i mean basically, the authorities had told us and told the french people as a whole that they should avoid public gatherings. they should avoid holding public meetings, public demonstrations until thursday because of the security threat. but the fact of the matter is,
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people had been coming during the day, laying flowers, lighting candles, and something of a vigil has developed. i could see the police earlier on looking very anxious and very edgy, armed police all the way around the square trying to contain people in the square. generally what happens, when there are these kind of demonstrations, the demonstration expands into the streets around the square and the police were clearly very anxious that this gathering should not spill in the streets but remain in the square and then, they were all looking -- the police looked very much on edge. they were clearly concerned that exactly what wasn't meant to be happening was happening. namely that people were gathering. you can understand it's dark. crowds of people, no one is on
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the boundaries of the square checking people. people are wearing thick coats. we know that the attackers who went to the nightclub and were wearing belts, vests packed with explosives, we know other attackers had automatic weapons. it would be so easy for someone to come in to a place with explosives or automatic weapons and kill or injure a large number of people. and the fact that there was this mass panic is really indicative of the level of tension and fear that exists in paris now because it's not safe to go to a football match, if it's not safe to go to a concert, if it's not safe to sit on the terrace of a restaurant, then where is it safe? >> jackie, on saturday, after the attacks, paris was quite empty, and then on sunday, people, i guess, found their courage again or were more willing to take a chance, wanted
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to show defiance, took to the streets again. what are you seeing now? are people coming back? >> reporter: people are coming back. people are coming back. people are coming back. there are, i would say, maybe about 100 or so people here now but there were 10 times as many people earlier on. i mean, yes. the square is empty but there is no where near the numbers as before. as we were running, there were families. there were children in push chairs. i saw a pregnant woman, you know, ordinary people. i can see now there are children, a mother walking along hand-in-hand with her child. i mean this is just a cross section of ordinary french people. i see another woman with a very small toddler in a stroller. people are still out but obviously, what has happened in the last hour will have speak to
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quite a few people. it gives you an indication that to an extent, one could argue that the attackers have achieved an objective of making french people no longer feel safe on the streets of their own city and, in fact, having an impact on the people, the way the people live their lives. as i said before, you can't be safe in a football stadium? you can't be safe in a restaurant, if you can't be safe on where is a rallying position for people at times of national mourning, types of national crisis. it symbolizes the spirit of france. if you could be attacked here despite the fact that tens of thousands of extra security forces have been piled in to -- have been piled in to paris since the attack on friday night, then it really gives you a sense of the insecurity. >> jackie, before this, i guess,
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panic or we don't yet know the details but before the plaza de public was, they have released a picture of one of the suspects they think is on the run. what more do we know about that? >> reporter: they released the picture of a suspect who was named who they said is very dangerous and should not be approached by the public. we understand from the documents that they issued that this individual was born in brussels and obviously the brussels connection has become increasingly pronounced in the last few hours. the fact that two of the cars which were rented for the attacks on friday night were rented from a belgian car rental
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firm and the two people who rented the cars were french nationals living in brussels. there has been a little con plugs exactly abo-- confusion at these french brothers we have heard a lot about. the name with a photograph has been officially released by the police. there were reports earlier on "the washington post" newspaper citing french judicial sources mentioning the name of another brother bearing the same surname. >> has not in any way officially been put out at the moment. as i said, there was the name of another brother cited in that newspaper article and that would appear to tie in with consistent reports that we have heard throughout the day that the belgian police and indeed the french police, as well, were looki looking for these two brothers, french nationals who have been living in belgium

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